Democratic Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear told police to take down tag numbers of people attending churches and other gatherings on Easter so the government could go to their homes and impose a 14-day quarantine over COVID-19 concerns.
The report comes from NewsChannel 5 in Nashville.
Beshear said all but seven churches agreed not to gather in person today, and he continued his call to cancel gatherings.
For those who decide to participate in a mass gathering of any type of which the state is notified of, the license plates of those individuals will be recorded and given to health department officials. They will then visit the individuals home bringing with them an order to quarantine for 14 days.
The enforcement does not apply to drive-in churches.
The response by the Democratic Kentucky governor differs from that of Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott who said he plans to allow businesses to reopen soon in a “safe way,” Newsweek reported.
Abbott said Texas, which would be the world’s 11th largest economy it were an independent country, could find a balance between personal safety and economic security.
“We will focus on protecting lives while restoring livelihoods,” Abbott said on Friday at a news conference.
Indeed, the response by Kentucky’s Democratic governor is more in line with that promoted by Democratic Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam.
LifeNews reported that masked police last Sunday entered a service at Lighthouse Fellowship in Chincoteague Island, Virginia, for holding a church service for 16 people spaced far apart in a sanctuary that seats 293. They are charged with violating Northam’s COVID Order 55 with a penalty up to a year in jail and/or a $2,500 fine. Liberty Counsel is representing Pastor Kevin Wilson and the church.
Wilson received a summons and a warning that if he held Easter service with more than 10 people, everyone would receive the same summons.
The church serves people battling drug addiction, mental illness, poverty and prostitution, and many do not have driver’s licenses and depend on the church for food and rides.
The Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN) reported that police issued $500 fines to members of Temple Baptist Church in Greenville, Mississippi for sitting in their cars in the church parking lot while the pastor broadcast the sermon over their car radios.
The Greenville mayor is Erick Simmons, a Democrat.
Perhaps Simmons is too busy worrying about social distancing at churches to administer basic city functions.
Greenville residents are currently endangered because the city’s wastewater treatment plant discharged untreated sewage into the Mississippi River.
Simmons issued an executive order requiring all church buildings to be closed for both in-person and drive-in church services, CBN said. The mayor’s action followed Gov. Tate Reeves’s shelter-in-place order to all citizens on April 3.
Church member Lee Gordon, a county board of supervisor member, said many church members are seniors who do not have access to technology to stream services online. He and his wife each were hit with $500 tickets.
Christian nonprofit law firm Alliance Defending Freedom is filing a lawsuit requesting a federal court enact a temporary restraining order and permanent injunction so Temple Baptist’s members can attend Easter services in their cars, The Washington Times reported.
“If [government] allows waiting in the car at Sonic it should permit a drivethru Easter service,” tweeted Kristen Waggoner, ADF senior vice president and counsel for Trinity Baptist Church, about the city’s action. “Safety is critical. So is following the Constitution. First Amendment isn’t completely suspended nor does [government] have unlimited authority to target churches however they please. There are limits.”
A second Greenville church, King James Bible Baptist Church, attempted a service at a drive-in theater. Police met parishioners there ready to issue tickets.
A Twitter user posted video filmed by King James pastor Charles Hamilton:
Video from Pastor Hamilton of King James Bible Baptist Church in Greenville, MS. Church tried the “drive-in” method of holding services & were targeted due to the Mayor issuing an order prohibiting such services. Watch as an officer tells the Pastor that his rights are suspended.
Video from Pastor Hamilton of King James Bible Baptist Church in Greenville, MS. Church tried the “drive-in” method of holding services & were targeted due to the Mayor issuing an order prohibiting such services. Watch as an officer tells the Pastor that his rights are suspended. pic.twitter.com/zLdT6Qd8ew
— Nick Short 🇺🇸 (@PoliticalShort) April 11, 2020
In the video, you can hear the pastor telling an officer church assembly is a Constitutional right, which is God-given, not government-given. The officer replies it can be suspended, and mentioned the military.
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